Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Yar Har, Fiddle-dee dee...

Ahoy! Pirate Party gets berth in European Parliament

Well, I didn't see that one coming.

Sweden's Pirate Party will be filling at least one seat in the European Parliament. The party advocates the abolition of the patent system, major reform of copyright law, and greater privacy protection for Internet users.

My discussion of the party's success has triggered several discussions about intellectual property issues. I have some misgivings about whether an idea can coherently be called property. Most definitions of property I've seen are something along the lines of "the result of mixing one's intellectual or physical effort with natural resources," or some such thing. It seems more likely to me that IP is a utilitarian construct intended to either encourage creativity or line the pockets of the well-connected, depending on how cynical you are. In light of the fact that I've talked more about IP in the past two days than I had in the past year, I'd say that the Pirate Party is a great success. Avast, ye land lubbers! Prepare to be boarded!

In related news, my favorite MEP was reelected. This is Mr. Hannan's second appearance on the blog, and I hope not his last. Find his characteristically amusing and lucid acceptance speech below.

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